More pizza and less parking are coming to Fayette Mall. BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, a California-based chain that specializes in Chicago-style pizza and beer, is being built at the corner of Nicholasville and Reynolds roads.
Richard Land, a spokesman for the publicly traded company, confirmed that the restaurant is expected to be open this summer.
BJ’s will go into the corner of parking lot at the Macy’s end of Fayette Mall. In 2013, amended plans submitted to the city for the middle section where Sears used to be also proposed an unspecified 10,000-square-foot standalone restaurant for the parking lot space, with entrances to both streets.
Since then, the mall has filled in many of the central spaces with stores and new restaurants, including The Cheesecake Factory, Newk’s Eatery, Travinia Italian Kitchen and Pie Five Pizza.
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Fayette Mall, which is not directly involved in this deal, declined to comment on the addition of BJ’s and referred calls to Macy’s for comment because Macy’s owns the property. Macy’s representatives did not immediately respond to requests for more information on when construction would begin or how big the restaurant will be.
This will be the first BJ’s in Lexington and the third in Kentucky; BJ’s operates in Louisville and Florence, as well as in Cincinnati.
In an October earnings release, president and CEO Greg Trojan said the company estimates national capacity for 425 BJ’s restaurants. As of November, there were 171 casual dining restaurants in 22 states under the BJ’s flag, offering deep-dish pizza, sandwiches, pastas, other entrees and desserts, including the “Pizookie” dessert, a large cookie served hot out of the oven in a pan and topped with ice cream.
All the restaurants also feature BJ’s proprietary craft beers, which are produced at several of the company’s restaurant and brewery locations and independent third party craft brewers.
It’s unclear if the Lexington location will also brew beer.